Lucky 13: The Power of Travel

2014: Reflection

The last couple of years in my life have been incredibly different from each other when it comes to travel. I wanted to share with you a little story and some photos (Part II) to go with it simply to inspire you to do everything you can to make travel happen in your life if it is important to you.

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2012: 0 Countries

2012 was one of the hardest years of my adulthood, and that was largely due to the fact that it was the first year since 1999 that I didn’t set foot abroad. Not once.

I always talk about priorities and how important they are in the realm of managing finances, and in 2012, our priorities were not focused on travel. We needed to buy a car, and we happened to be saving for our August wedding. Since we believe in paying off our credit cards every month and not incurring any debt, we bought our “new” ’97 Subaru with cash, and every other penny went to putting on the wedding. That didn’t leave room for a travel fund, a fact that drove me crazy (quite literally) all year long. 

I used to keep a personal travel blog (before I started The Budget-Minded Traveler), and this was my entry at the beginning of January 2013:

Wanderlust Strikes Again

There’s just no holding it at bay, no conforming to a “normal” life (what is normal anyway?), and no guilt when it takes over my lifetime and time again. In fact, the word that best describes what I’m feeling at the moment is “freedom.” Such is the life of a person who will forever be happily infected by the travel bug. 

I can explain. I have decided to end my employment at the law office. It’s a decision fitting for me, as the legal field is simply not where my passions live or thrive. It was a great learning experience, a wonderful step away from the restaurant industry, and it opened several doors of opportunity through which I have entered and am still working on entering.

So. I’m celebrating by heading to Southeast Asia with my hubby for our long-overdue honeymoon in just 3 days! 2012 has been a very different year for me, it was incredibly busy and most of all lacked any international travel, something that I have not lacked since… the year 1999. Seriously. On January 4th of 2012, I started my job at the law firm. January 4th of 2013 I will be getting on a plane with my favorite travel buddy, Asia-bound, and not looking back. 

I am looking forward to discovering what this change will bring, and I think a new year is a perfect time to make it happen. I may have had a lack of international travel in 2012, but I plan to heartily make up for it in 2013.

Lucky 13, bring it on.

2013: 13 Countries

I didn’t realize at the time how ironic that last statement was, as I ended up making it to no less than 13 countries that year. What was more ironic was the country that ended being the 13th.

The important thing is that when my so-called “life” kicked in, I got dragged down, but I learned from it, and I came out fighting. It took decision and sacrifice, but that was nothing compared to the rewards. I found myself again, the way I should be: planning trips, buying plane tickets, talking about travel, and happily expanding my horizons overseas. That’s where I feel comfortable, where I’m on the right track, where my life really lives.

It was in May of that year that The Budget-Minded Traveler came to life as a blog, and then in September, I published my book that I’d been “working on” for 3 years. It’s funny what people are capable of when in their element. I came back to mine in 2013, and I’m not planning to leave it any time soon. 

Whether your element is travel or not, do everything you can to get there as soon as possible, and realize its power, allowing you to live your life to its fullest potential.  

Click here to see Part II of this post: 1 Year, 13 Countries, 13 Photos 

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